Stuyvesant’s attendance system, the Comprehensive Attendance Administration Security System (CAASS), has been updated for the 2013 spring term. The cornerstone of the update was the introduction of new student IDs, which were distributed in homerooms on Thursday, January 31.
The previous edition of the IDs displayed the student’s photo and basic personal information, such as name and date of birth. A barcode at the bottom was utilized for scanning in for lunch, scanning in in the morning, borrowing textbooks, and paying for lunch in the cafeteria. This barcode was associated with the student’s Office of Student Information Systems (OSIS) number, a number unique to each student within the New York City public education system.
On the new IDs, the administration decided to move the OSIS barcode to the top of the card and add a new barcode on the bottom. This new barcode is linked to a new CAASS number constructed exclusively for the updated attendance system. Unlike a student’s OSIS number, the CAASS number is unique to the ID rather the student, changing every time a new ID is printed for the same student. Furthermore, the CAASS number is used only for swiping in and out of school, while the OSIS code is still used for checking out library books and paying for school lunch.
In the fall, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) informed Stuyvesant that there would be an update to the attendance system that would require an additional barcode on ID cards. However, due to time constraints regarding the printing of IDs, the change had to be delayed until the spring term.
“The DOE issued an ultimatum that we would need to update the system immediately or pay a fine,” Assistant Principal of Programming Edward Wong said. However, by contacting the DOE, the administration was permitted to update the attendance system at a later time, saving the school thousands of dollars in fines.
The new attendance system allows the administration to keep better track of the number of ID replacements that students receive throughout the year by noting the new CAASS numbers that are printed. Though the details are unclear, the system also provides better control over who enters the building. “Data from CAASS schools shows that better control at the school entrance helps reduce the opportunity for intruders or other non-students to enter the building,” an official DOE report stated.
Despite evident confusion from the student body, the administration does not intend to simplify or further change the new attendance system. “We don’t have any plans to alter the uses of the new ID cards that have already been established by the DOE,” Assistant Principal of Student Affairs and Parent Engagement Brian Moran said.